WRB :: Meredith Miller – Back for More Mud, Cowbells, and Yoghurt?

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Noosa CX Team AK MM

Noosa CX Team AK MM
Allen Krughoff and Meredith Miller Sign Noosa Finest Yoghurt as Title Sponsor for Rider-Owned Professional Cyclocross Team

Allen Krughoff and Meredith Miller have signed Bellvue, Colorado-based Noosa Finest Yoghurt as title sponsor for the newest cyclocross program in professional cycling. Krughoff, formerly of Raleigh-Clement, and Miller, formerly of California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized, will function as team co-owners and team co-managers while racing a domestic schedule for the 2014/2015 cyclocross season.

“Having been with Cal Giant since I first started racing ‘cross, this is all a really big change – but it’s an exciting one,” said Miller. “I’m stepping into unknown territory in owning and running a team, and it definitely comes with a new sense of responsibility to our partners and the sport. We’ve only signed Noosa for one year, but it’s my hope that we’re laying the foundations for a program that will grow. I’d love to see us add more riders to the program as early as next season.”

“As part of an established program, you have much less to worry about but also much less control,” said Krughoff, echoing Miller’s sentiments. “It’d be far easier to join an established program and be told where to be and when to be there, but this has been much more exciting as everything has started to come together. Both Meredith and I are going to take a lot of satisfaction in making our partners happy and racing fast this year, knowing we made it all happen.”

Krughoff and Miller considered Noosa an obvious choice when searching for a title sponsor for their program. The young company, a collective of Aussie ex-pats and Colorado natives who have brought the best tasting Aussie style yoghurt to the U.S., has been involved with the sport on the local level for several years.

“Noosa has a history of sponsorship in the cycling world with a local team and local races up in Fort Collins,” explained Krughoff. “Last year, they were involved with the National Championships here in Boulder. Their brand manager has worked for IZZE and EVOL in the past. Both companies have had programs that support and value partnerships in cycling, specifically cyclocross. The partnership with them made sense, so we reached out. They didn’t need much convincing.”

“Noosa Yogurt has always been a supporter of cycling,” said Koel Thomae, Co-Founder of Noosa Yoghurt. “We’re thrilled to be taking our support of cycling up a notch with the sponsorship of Allen and Meredith. The fun and spectator friendly sport of cyclocross is a great fit for our brand and we’re excited for the upcoming season.”

The co-owners of Noosa Professional Cyclocross Team also represent the new squad’s entire roster. The duo will be supported by two team mechanics Daimeon Shanks and Erik Maresjo. The team will be riding the Focus Mares equipped with SRAM, ENVE and Clement tires throughout the 2014/15 season.

“For me, this is an across the board change except for SRAM,” said Miller. I’ve been on the same equipment for the last six years. This is a new frame, new wheels and new tires. It’s a big change. Any hesitations I might have about making such a major switch have been completely put to rest by our budding relationships with Focus, ENVE and Clement. Allen and I approached all three companies fairly late in the game, and they stepped up to support us in a huge way. It’s extremely humbling to know that these companies are committed to supporting what we do and are excited to see what we can do for them in return.”

Castelli will supply the team with the full range of clothing necessary for the vast range of conditions encountered during the fall and winter cyclocross season.

“I was really impressed with the quality of clothing I had from Castelli last season,” said Krughoff. “Sticking with them for another year is great. I place a big focus on social media engagement with the cyclocross community, and Castelli is fantastic about embracing what I do. They reached out to me recently to check in on my plans for the season, and we signed them up. We plan to deliver high quality content to all our sponsors throughout the season, and it’s great to hear how much this matters.”

Miller’s cycling career spans 15+ years. The lifelong athlete made a name for herself as a super domestique on the road and has been amongst the top-ranked American women in cyclocross for the last five seasons. Her career highlights include winning the 2009 USA Cycling Road National Championships, representing the U.S. at the UCI Road World Championships and the UCI Cyclocross World Championships within a four month period (2009-2010), and cracking the top ten at the Tabor World Cup last year. Miller announced her retirement from road racing in August 2013 following a five-year stint with Team TIBCO, four as road captain.

“For the last six years, I’ve gone straight from the ‘cross season into the road season and from the road season right into the ‘cross season,” said Miller. “It’s been different this year. I didn’t touch a bike for nearly the entire month of February, and I’ve been riding a ton since March but without a training plan. This has been my first big break in seven years.”

“Rather than racing full-time on the road, I’ve been able to ride for myself,” Miller added. “Riding has been about having fun instead of preparing for some sort of race-related goal. Some weeks that means I’m on my ‘cross bike, my road bike and my mountain bike all in the same week. I’ve gone on short rides, long rides and epic adventures. This has allowed me to mentally reset and refocus. I just started working with my coach Neal Henderson again two weeks ago, and I’m looking forward to seeing what a more laid back approach this spring and summer will mean for me this fall.”

Krughoff has enjoyed a quick rise to the top of the sport that began when he won a professional contract with Raleigh-Clement two years ago. He finished in fifth place at the 2014 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships. The result secured his spot on the six-rider team that represented the U.S. at the 2014 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in the Netherlands last February. Krughoff is an accomplished commercial photographer and film producer and uses the skills he’s honed behind the camera to create exceptional digital content for his cycling season partners.

“My goal this year is to break into the top five consistently at national level races,” said Krughoff. “I’ve seen big improvements from myself every year. Last season, I wanted to consistently score top-ten results. This year that bar will be set even higher. I also plan to contend for a spot on the world’s team again. With the type of support we’ve put together with our partners and staff, I think it’s completely realistic to expect that Meredith and I will be competitive against the other top professional teams.”

Miller and Krughoff will debut their new colors at CrossVegas in September. Their race calendar includes nine race weekends nationwide in the build-up to the USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championships in Austin, Texas. While partnerships with Noosa, Focus, SRAM, ENVE, Clement, Castelli and Kinetic support this schedule, Krughoff and Miller continue to seek additional sponsorship.

“We’re both vey excited about the incredible program we’ve put together,” said Krughoff. “We still have opportunities available for other companies or even individuals looking to partner with us. We’ve done our best to identify interested parties, but we know that we’re probably missing some. If that’s you, reach out and let us know. It’s not too late to get involved.”

Be sure to follow this dynamic duo as Noosa CX on facebook and twitter!

Posted by: Sarai Snyder, Boulder, CO